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In Which I Love the '90s

I've found myself taking an excessive amount of comfort in the '90s as of late. Let me be clear from the start: the '90s were not a good time in the life of me. Does anyone remember 6th grade? Yeah, that was 1996, and then through '99 were pretty much the opposite of a blast. So why I've been choosing to revel in pop culture from those exact years, I have zero idea.

However, in homage to that time, let's look at some pretty awesome (or at least other people say they're awesome) books from then. I need to take a break from watching Buffy and wearing plaid anyway:

Holes by Louis Sachar. Hey! That guy who wrote Wayside School wrote a Newbery Medal book! One that I still haven't read, but it won in '99 and makes the cut here.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham. This won the Pulitzer for Fiction. I love this cover, although I haven't seen it in real life. Ok, confession, I haven't heard of the other winners from '96-'99. And I haven't read The Hours, I've only seen the movie. Shit, I'm bad at this.

Oh hey! The Poisonwood Bible was a finalist in '99. Which I also haven't read. But I have a copy on my bookshelf that I got at the Salvation Army across the street from me (don't be overwhelmed by the classiness of my neighborhood) for 50 cents.

Cold Mountain was the National Book Award winner in 1997. I've actually read this. I thought it was perfectly fine. But I'll quote my friend Doug's review, because it's pretty epic:

"I would rather dip my balls in liquid nitrogen until they froze solid and broke off than read this fucktardedly insipid waste of wood pulp again. This is a 25 page story in a 250 page novel. A half a page to describe a goat?! The goat didn't even have anything to do with the story! Watch this... 'also there was a goat.' Boom. Done. Half a fucking sentence. You suck, Frazier. Fuck you."

Charming Billy won in '98! The key player in my Intro to Harry Potter story! Well, that's delightful. I remember nothing about that book except that Billy was dead and the book was all about his wake. I think.

When I was 13, these were not the books I was reading. I ignored all contemporary fiction because I thought it had gratuitous sex and bad language (kinda dropped the ball on caring about that latter item) and that, since the generations hadn't cut out the real trash, it'd be too hard to find genuinely well-done novels. Yeah. Maybe when I was 13 it was hard. Fortunately since then, I've gotten less stupid, and now most of what I read's been written in the last 50 years.

The real turning point came when I was reading something like Nicholas Nickleby and I thought, 'Okay. If literature helps us understand our world/ does it help me if the only world/society I understand is Victorian England?' So I decided to read contemporary stuff, and now, woo, it's pretty great.

Does anyone else remember stuff from the '90s? Granted, it wasn't that long ago, but I was pretty divorced from pop culture in general, 'cause I was a full-of-myself preteen/teenager. Also because my mother swore pop music LITERALLY hurt her ears. I seem to recall butterfly hair clips being big. That's about it.


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